DENISON, TEXAS - 'High tech growth and development in Sherman may be key to the future for development of one of Denison’s major gateways. Representatives with the Denison Development Alliance recently gave an update of redevelopment efforts for the former Johns Manville site on the city’s northern border along U.S. Highway 75, including ways developers can capitalize on multi-billion- dollar developments taking place in Sherman.
Officials said that the former concrete production site, now called the North Texas Logistics Park, could be an important part of the growing industry in North Texas. The DDA and city hope to take advantage of high-tech development in Sherman — including a new $30 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor plant — by focus the site as a part of the supply chain.
“We don’t need to talk really about the details there, except that increased domestic capacity requires an increased supply chain of parts closer to the plant,” Michael Schmitz, director of the Antero Group, said during the DDA’s annual summit earlier this month. We are going to be looking at the materials, the supplies.”
For more than 30 years, the Johns Manville plant in north Denison served as an economic driver for the city and was at one time the city’s largest employer. The facility focused on the production of transite pipe, which was widely used in water service and transportation.
However, the material was phased out of use over time and replaced by PVC due to the asbestos that was mixed into concrete during transit production. Asbestos was widely abandoned as a construction material by the early 1980s and the JM plant closed its doors in 1988.
The site sat unused for more than 30 years as city officials work to try and redevelop the site for a new use. These efforts were largely unsuccessful until 2021, when the parent company agreed to effectively donate the site to the DDA, with the economic developer only required to pay back costs related to study work used in the transfer.
Since then, the DDA has issued bonds through the city of Denison to finance the site cleanup, which is currently underway.
“The only thing that’s left out there is the steel and the pad that is out there,” DDA President Tony Kaai. “All of that asbestos has been removed, remediated.”
Since the DDA acquired the site, Kaai has said that warehouse and distribution is a possible future use for the location. However, visions for future development began to focus on supplying high-tech industries after Texas Instruments announced it would build a nearly $30 billion semiconductor production site in Sherman.
“It changed the game with regard that we are going to focus on the suppliers,” Kaai said, noting he has had recent meetings with interested developers.
With regard to the site, Schmitz said the JM property is about 400 acres, of which about 230 are developable. However, officials are working with FEMA to see if about 30 acres could be removed from the floodplain and cleared for development.
Beyond its size, the site is also in a good location to reach 15 cities within North Texas with close access to North Texas Regional Airport.
“Its got a lot of locational advantages located just south of the Red River: one of the busiest north-south trucking routes when we talk about logistics and freight, immediate access to 15 major cities in North Texas and less than 15 miles from North Texas Regional Airport,” he said.
The site also has water right along the Red River. Each year, the site is allowed rights to 4,000 acre feet of water, For comparison, each acre foot equates to about 326,000 gallons of water.
Currently, officials are in the process of preparing for development through data collection, analysis and other research that can be used in attracting an end developer.
“We need to have shovel-ready sites available with the completed due diligence, workforce and all of the game plan together and the North Texas Logistics Park can meet those needs,” Schmitz said.'
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